Marc Le Menestrel
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Goals and Success: the Parable of the Sadhu (October 4, 2012)

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by Marc Le Menestrel (5/10/2011)

Video: “The Parable of the Sadhu” – Harvard Business School.


Through a case study depicting a Wall Street financial analyst facing a dilemma in mountaineering, we discuss whether success lies in the mere attainment of goals.

We then introduce criteria of ethical behaviour. These philosophical perspectives provide us with foundations to propose an open form of ethical rationality that combines considerations based on self-interest with ethical values.

Video to watch in class: TED Talks: Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success

Required reading

McCoy, Bowen: “The parable of the Sadhu”, in Harvard Business Review, Vol. 75 N°3, May-June 1997, pp. 54-61.

Questions to answer: Inspired by the reading but answering for you personally, is success the mere attainment of your goals?

Optional reading

Le Menestrel, Marc: “Economic Rationality and Ethical Behaviour: ethical business between venality and sacrifice”, in Business Ethics: A European Review, Vol. 11, No. 2 (2002).

Slides for the session

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